IFJ Warns of Violent Trend Against Media in Assam, India

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) expressed concern over the continued violence against journalists in the northeastern state of Assam in India.

“The north east of India is fast acquiring the unfortunate reputation of a very dangerous place for journalists,” said IFJ president Christopher Warren, while condemning the attack on journalists in Kakopathar, Assam on February 17. The journalists were reporting on a visit of Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

Robin Dhekial Phukan of the daily Asomiya Pratidin and Parag Bhuyan of Dainik Janambhumi in Kakopathar were severely beaten by policemen. The incident took place when policemen were attempting to control a rally of people shouting anti-government slogans. The injured journalists were taken to the local hospital and then to Tinsukia.

After police refused to comment on the incident, the journalists boycotted the Chief Minister’s press conference.

At a meeting at the Guwahati Press Club on February 18, journalist organisations in Assam, including the Journalists Action Committee of Assam, and the Journalists Union of Assam, an affiliate of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU), condemned the police attack on Phukan and Bhuyan and announced that they would hold a protest rally on February 21.

The region has seen recent incidents of violence – from the gruesome murder of Prahlad Goala in Golaghat, Assam on January 6 to the shooting of Ratan Lunwangcha in Manipur on February 9.

“The policemen responsible for the attack must immediately be brought to book, and the administration must create a conducive atmosphere in the state for journalists to carry out their profession,” said Warren.

For more information please contact IFJ Asia-Pacific +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries